3 things Fordham said ahead of NCAA Tournament matchup with Syracuse

first_img Facebook Twitter Google+ Published on March 22, 2019 at 6:36 pm Contact Michael: mmcclear@syr.edu | @MikeJMcCleary Commentscenter_img No. 3 seed Syracuse (24-7, 10-8 Atlantic Coast) will host No. 14 seed Fordham for the first round of the NCAA Tournament on Saturday in the Carrier Dome. SU is coming off a strong ACC tournament showing where Syracuse avenged a regular-season loss to Miami and jumped to the No. 3 seed in the Portland Regional. The Orange will tip off with the Atlantic-10 Conference champion Rams, who have won 12-straight en route to an NCAA Tournament appearance.Here’s three things that Fordham said ahead of Saturday’s game.Defense wins championshipsForward Mary Goulding won’t say it is “biblical,” but she doesn’t know if Syracuse takes as much pride in its defense as the Rams do. FU rode its seventh-ranked defense to a conference championship and enter the tournament as an imposing threat to the Orange’s offense-heavy attack.“With our defense, it’ll make them do something that they may not have done before,” Goulding said. “If they’re a strong 3-point shooting team, then they have to get to the basket. If they are wanted to get to the basket, shoot 3’s. Make them shoot pull-up jumpers in our face. Something that they’re not comfortable doing, that’s what we want them to do.”AdvertisementThis is placeholder textIn consecutive conference tournament games, the Rams held their opponents to a season-low point total. It smothered No. 3 seed Duquesne and held it to only 34 points and in the championship game held No. 1 seed VCU to 47 points in Fordham’s 15-point win.FU head coach Stephanie Gaitley said the Rams would counter SU’s 3-point heavy attack by forcing shooters to put the ball on the floor.“We’re not going to take everything away,” Gaitley said, “so you’re going to have to pick your poison of what you’re going to give up because they have a lot of weapons.”Short rotationThe Rams only have seven players on its roster that play more than 10 minutes per game compared to a Syracuse team that has nine consistent contributors. But this is no longer the conference tournament where FU was required to play three games in three days, Gaitley said, and the Rams have had two weeks to rest to reconfigure.“I know coach Hillsman plays a lot more kids, but in this situation, at this point of the year, I’m not concerned with the rotation.”In-depth discussionThe Rams played Syracuse in the first round of the NCAA tournament the last time the Orange hosted NCAA Tournament competition — the first game of an eventual Final Four run. Fordham has experience with shooting in the Carrier Dome, and doesn’t see depth perception, the skewed perception of shooting in a room with such a high roof, as a major problem. She remembers playing the Orange in the NIT when she was with Monmouth, and her team played well.“The Carrier Dome doesn’t concern me,” Gaitley said. “The kids will follow your lead so if you have concerns, they’ll have concerns.”last_img